Philippine authorities must investigate 'unjust and brutal' killing of Catholic priest

05 December 2017 | by Rose Gamble

The attack occurred hours after Fr Paez facilitated the release of a political prisoner

A bishop has called on authorities to investigate the "unjust and brutal" killing of a Catholic priest in the Philippines.

Unidentified men shot 72 year-old Father Marcelito Paez around 8 pm on 4 December while he was driving in San Leonardo town, on the main Philippine island of Luzon. He died three hours later at a local hospital.

The attack occurred hours after Paez, a retired priest of San Jose Diocese and a national board member of the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines, facilitated the release of a political prisoner in Cabanatuan, the provincial capital. He was known for being involved in issues related to human rights, the poor, and farmers.

We strongly condemn the unjust and brutal killing of Fr Tito Paez,” said San Jose Bishop Roberto Mallari in a report by the Philippine Catholic Bishops Conference news site.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said, in a televised press conference today, that the incident would be investigated. It is too early to tell if Paez’s killing is “political”.

“We called on the authorities to conduct investigation and give justice to his death,” he added.

The attack occurred a day after police killed a pastor in a town around 800 kilometers southwest of Manila.

The police said Pastor Lovelito Quinones of the King Glory Ministry was a member of the New People's Army (NPA) and that he had been killed in cross fire. 

PICTURE: Fr Paez ©Twitter




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